Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Look up yonder, mine own Eve!" he cries; "surely we ought to dwell among those gold-tinged clouds, or in the blue depths beyond them. I know not how nor when, but evidently we have strayed away from our home; for I see nothing hereabouts that seems to belong to us."

"Can we not ascend thither?" inquires Eve.

"Why not?" answers Adam, hopefully. "But no! Something drags us down in spite of our best efforts. Perchance we may find a path hereafter."

In the energy of new life, it appears no such impracticable feat to climb into the sky!

-- Nathaniel Hawthorne, "The New Adam and Eve," 1843.

Friday, June 18, 2010

"And it goes back to the fundamental problem that I mentioned in the beginning of failure of alignment between private rewards and social returns. When I was on the Council of Economic Advisors, I saw that not only was the financial sector not innovative, they resisted our innovation. We came up with this idea of having inflation indexed bonds, and it was initially resisted by treasury, resisted by the financial markets. I scratched my head and I asked why. And then we figured out why. People buy these products and hold them to retirement. If you hold them to retirement you don’t make fees, because you don’t have people selling and buying them. And so for the financial sector they were disastrous. For Americans worried about the risk of inflation, they were a fantastic product."

-- Joseph Stiglitz, Roosevelt Institute Round Table, March 6, 2010.